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The Same, Old Proprietary Saw

When Microsoft announced plans to offer developers free licenses to use the Office UI for their apps, I was skeptical. First, I thought back to reporting I did a decade or so ago at InfoWorld, where Microsoft announced pretty much the same thing.

Then, I wondered how competitors would feel. Turns out it doesn't matter how they feel since -- at least, according to one ISV -- competitors aren't invited. Gen-9 was all set to support the UI for its data management tool. But after learning that rivals can't use the interface, the company ditched its plans because it "might" overlap with some Microsoft tools.

And a partner today is a rival tomorrow. So what happens when Microsoft decides to get into your market? Do you have to give the interface back?

Posted by Doug Barney on December 13, 2006


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